I am not a morning person, jumping out of bed full of vim and vigor is not something that happens to me at 6AM. I am like a slow moving train, I will reach full speed, but it takes some building up to and a lot of tea.
Despite my dislike of the emerging hours of the working day, I can normally force myself out of the door a few minutes early, in order to ride to work, rather than being stuck in the car.
How early and what route I choose, is very much dependent on how early I have been able to step off the struggle bus! I have varying options, from dueling with cars and buses on the direct down town blast, to the scenic riverfront route, which comes with plenty of detour options to extend the ride.
With the recent drop in temperatures I had allowed myself to get lazy, opting for the car, rather than bike for my morning commutes. This continued for almost a month until I realized how much of an impact my morning rides had on me. I had inadvertently restructured my working day, moving any menial tasks I could find to the beginning of the day, with complexity and creativity increasing as the hours progressed.
Finally after noticing the reduction in my saddle time, I kicked my bad habit to the curb (when there wasn’t snow or ice on the roads) and instantly noticed how much more productive my early hours were.
My commutes were a lot more important than I thought, they weren’t just a way to squeeze in some extra miles and burn off a few calories, they also helped me to shift the mental fog, they made me more productive!
This got me thinking, were the benefits just dawn related? After a particularly taxing morning resulting in creative burn out, I decided to see if a mid-day ride could give me a much needed boost.
The frigid air handled any lethargic thoughts I had, that was a good start, but the sights, sounds (probably not the smells!) and endorphins really helped to channel my creative thoughts. I was fully recharged and ready for a productive afternoon, cycling really does help to give me clarity and focus!
While I may not be quite as active on two wheels at the moment as I have been throughout the year, I am primarily putting that down to ice and snow on the ground (the laziness is now just a minor factor!). What is certain though, is that if I know I have a particularly taxing day, or I need to really lean on my creativity, one of my most important tools is my bike.